The March 2 deadline for priority filing for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2002-03 academic year is rapidly approaching.

The types of financial aid students can receive include the University of California Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students, and Federal Direct Loan. In addition, Cal Grants A and B are geared for middle to low-income and disadvantaged families and allot various amounts of money.

“Students who apply by March 2 will be evaluated for grant, loan and work-study eligibility. Students who apply after March 2 will be evaluated for only Pell Grant and Direct Loan eligibility,” UCSB Associate Director of Financial Aid Ron Andrade said. “The most critical issue is to apply by March 2 and be in the running for limited sources of funds that are not offered to late applicants.”

Students eligible for financial aid must be in a degree-seeking program, a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, cannot owe a repayment of aid to the U.S. Dept. of Education, should not be in default on a prior student loan, or have a drug conviction.

In addition to completing FAFSA via mail, students can complete the form electronically on the FAFSA web site at The financial aid office recommends that students apply on the web.

“Since there is a signature requirement, student without a FAFSA PIN would need to download and print the FAFSA signature page, provide the required signatures and mail it to the FAFSA processor,” Andrade said.

Financial aid is given on a need/non-need basis. UCSB’s Financial Aid office calculates an applicant’s need by determining expected family contribution and the degree to which it is less than the cost of attendance.

UCSB’s financial aid packaging policy gives most grant funding to the neediest students. Because not all students who apply may receive financial aid, most students will have loans as an element of their package.

“All students that submit the FAFSA will be evaluated for aid eligibility, and all students qualify for some type of aid,” Andrade said.

Approximately 65 percent of students receive some form of financial aid, Andrade said. Over $100 million has been granted this academic year and students are able to apply throughout the year.

“I got all the money I expected … it was really helpful because it’s helped me to go to college. Without it, I don’t know if I’d be able to attend UCSB financially,” sophomore, Engish major Sheeveta Shephard said.

“Probably the most important message I can give students is that the application allows students to complete the form even though the federal tax returns have not been completed,” Andrade said.

UCSB offers scholarship programs available to students, including the Regents’ Scholarship, the Chancellor’s Scholarship, the Scholarship of Academic Excellence, the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship and unrestricted campus-based scholarships. All scholarships are awarded for academic merit and achievement.

Students may also consider a variety of other sources for extra financial support outside university and state resources. Among the most popular search engines for students seeking such support are FastWeb, ScholarAid, College Edge, and Wired Scholar.